Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Zealand Pictorial - The Seekers

The New Zealand Pictorial magazine was published fortnightly between January 1954 and December 1955 by New Zealand Newspapers Ltd. A large format magazine, New Zealand Pictorial was filled with black and white photography and national news stories. Cartoons and comic strips featured throughout the two year run of publication with American Harold Foster's Prince Valiant a mainstay on the last page and Englishmen Syd Jordan's early work on Jeff Hawke featuring during 1955.

Local cartooning work also featured with panel gags by Auckland cartoonist Neil Lonsdale (1907-1989) and a comic strip, Nez and Zena, by recent immigrant to Auckland, Merton Lacey, (1902-1996). Several issues featured behind the scenes coverage of the first major studio film produced in New Zealand, The Seekers, based on the novel by John Guthrie (real name John Brodie).

The following comic strip adaption of The Seekers featured in the July 26th, 1954 issue of  New Zealand Pictorial. Sadly the artist is not credited. It is possibly the work of an artist that illustrated some true life stories in later issues which were also uncredited.
Severalmagazuines1 (1907- by re1989)907-1989)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Comics from Peter Foster


2012 will see releases and re-issues of comics by Melbourne Cartoonist Peter Foster. Foster has had a distinguished career illustrating thousands of pages of comics for DC Thomson in England as well numerous comics in Australia. In the 1980's it was not uncommon to find a DC Thomson comic with two if not three of Foster's stories in it. The Return of the Night Eagle is Foster's re-invention of Carl Lyon's Australian superhero of the '40s, The Eagle, as a legacy hero.
 Carl Lyon's The Eagle

Interior page from Peter Foster's The Night Eagle

Early 2012 will also see the publication of Peter Foster's out of print adaption of the classic Australian novel, For The Term of His Natural Life, by Marcus Clarke. Initially released in a black and white edition in 1986, well before the term 'graphic novel' was commonplace, this new edition is in full colour with additional material about the background and genesis of this project. As well as these Foster is currently working on full colour editions of his newspaper strip in collaboration with James Kemsley Snr, Ballantyne.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A S Paterson

I recently came in to possession of several hundred clippings of Alan Stuart Paterson's (1902-1968) daily cartoons from The Dominion created whilst he was their first staff cartoonist from 1925-1950.

From Susan E. Foster's Profile at Te Ara,

 "Paterson worked his cartoons out in his mind at night, then drew them in the morning, usually taking 1½ to two hours. In his early drawings the influence of Phil May and a young David Low can be seen before he developed his own fluid, economical style."

Over the years Paterson also illustrated many books and publications for A. W. Reed depicting the life and times of New Zealand in the early twentieth century.

As well as his skill as a cartoonist Paterson was an accomplished water colourist with three books of watercolour work published posthumously that saw multiple printings with sales of over 100,000 copies.

From NZ Herald cartoonist G. E Minhinnick. O.B E. foreword to Paterson's book of watercolour puns, The Bull Pen,

"His friends will remember him as a gentle and whimsical philosopher, with a glorious sense of the absurd. They will remember him, too as an artist an illustrator of distinction and a quiet man."

Over the course of Paterson's daily strips for The Dominion he recorded customs, attitudes  and social mores of early twentieth century New Zealand that show remarkable differences to the New Zealand of today.

Click to Embiggen






Self-portrait from Professor Paterson's Book of Engaging Birds

Sources: Susan E. Foster. 'Paterson, Alan Stuart - Biography', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 1-Sep-10 URL:, G.E Minhinnick's foreword to The Bull Pen 1968